Square Enix arms Chrono Trigger DS

Publisher confirms next remake for Nintendo's handheld will be widely acclaimed Super Nintendo action RPG, available this holiday.

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Setting off a digital wildfire of speculation just before the games' unveil in May, Square Enix launched telling official Web sites for the Dragon Quest Zenithia Trilogy. The trilogy follows on from the publisher's Final Fantasy DS remakes and will see the fourth, fifth, and sixth installments in the classic franchise remastered for the Nintendo DS, with the first to arrive September 16.

Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking...
Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking...

Now, a similar fate has met Square Enix's next Nintendo DS redux of one of its classic properties. Following the game's official Web site being spotted overnight, Square Enix has confirmed that Chrono Trigger will release for the DS this holiday. Unlike the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest remakes, Chrono Trigger will not receive a graphical overhaul, though it will be reformatted to utilize the DS' dual-screen presentation and touch-screen functionality. The remake will also include a Wireless Play mode and an all-new dungeon.

True to the game's original premise, Chrono Trigger DS presents the story of Crono, who attempts to first save his friend Marle from a malfunctioning teleportation device. However, a more sinister threat evolves through his adventures, and Crono soon finds himself altering space-time to divert the near-certain apocalyptic future.

Rather than traditional random-encounter battles, Chrono Trigger features visible enemies and an active battle system, where players have a personal countdown timer that measures the frequency of attacks. Seen as revolutionary at the time, the game also includes multiple ending sequences.

Widely regarded as the last great hurrah for the Super Nintendo, Squaresoft's Chrono Trigger was released in the US for Nintendo's outmoded platform in September 1995, a full two weeks after the launch of Sony's PlayStation. Despite entering the fray late in the 16-bit lifecycle, Chrono Trigger managed to shift more than 2.5 million units globally.

The game was noted for its "Dream Team" development outfit, which consisted of famed Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, character designer Akira Toriyama, and composer Yasunori Mitsuda, among others. Chrono Trigger was followed in 2000 by Chrono Cross for the PlayStation, a game that received GameSpot's highest honors.

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